The Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are in full support of ‘State of Mind’.
The death of Terry Newton in September 2010 shook the world of Rugby League from the terraces to the top flight of the Sport. To help raise awareness of mental wellbeing and the effects it can have on an individual who may think they have no other option but to take their own life, professionals and others who support rugby league have developed an initiative called State of Mind with the backing of the Rugby Football League (RFL).
Round 27 of the Super League (this weekend) has seen the world of Rugby League unite for State of Mind; with players, coaches, back office staff, fans and their friends and family coming together to support the initiative. Fixtures across the UK during Round 27 will be branded as State of Mind, holding a variety of events, promoting the issues of mental health and highlighting other avenues of support if someone wants help with the stresses in their life.
The Wildcats are backing this campaign and will be proudly sporting the official State of Mind t-shirts during the warm up in Friday’s game against The Bradford Bulls. French hooker Julien Rinaldi is the official club ambassador for the project and was filmed for the State of Mind DVD last month.
Wildcats Director of Education Mark Winder commented, “We are delighted to be supporting such a great campaign that addresses such an important issue in Rugby League. We will be striving to help the initiative in any way we can and will do our best to promote the project as much as possible through our own website and social media channels.”
Ernie Benbow, Co-founder and Programme Manager State of Mind said, “Following the loss of Terry Newton, many within the Rugby community wanted to do something to tackle the issues of mental wellbeing for both our players and our supporters. Men are three times more likely to take their own lives and it is vital that we open the conversation of mental wellbeing up to everyone involved in the Sport. Rugby players are big men, with big shoulders, but even they can’t carry the pressures of the world on their own.”
Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said: “In a challenging game like rugby league, it must be really important that the players keep themselves in peak condition – mind as well as body. The State of Mind initiative is a brilliant way of raising the profile of mental health issues among players and supporters of rugby league alike.
“I hope that this campaign will help break down the stigma that is often attached to mental health problems and make it easier for rugby players and fans to get the help they need. One in four of us will have a mental health problem at some point – we all need to know where to go to get the right help, instead of suffering in silence.
“It’s inspiring that such a fantastic campaign has come from the tragedy of Terry Newton’s death. I hope it has every success.”
The State of Mind Campaign has four key elements: a programme of Educational Awareness Sessions for clubs to assist in understanding the issues, a training resource DVD where Super League players talk about their own experiences both on and off the pitch. A State of Mind website has been developed which can be used by the Rugby fans and friends to find out where to get help when it is needed. What’s more, key influential staff in the Super League will be given Mental Health First Aid Training to help identify the signs of someone struggling to deal with stress amongst the people they work with, their friends and their family. The training will also provide the skills to allow these members of staff to respond appropriately and know where to refer for support.
One supporter of the campaign is Owen Cotterell, Director of Mocha TV, who has created the Training Resource DVD, “After meeting all of the Rugby players during the filming, I felt compelled to play my part for the campaign. I have challenged myself to run a total of 193 miles in 10 days, between 10 Clubs in the Super League, on the countdown to State of Mind. I use running as a way to deal with my stress so what better way to support this campaign which recognises that it’s ok to get help and sort your head out when you need to.”
Owen’s marathon feat of endurance kicks off on Friday September 2nd with a 35 mile run. At each stage of the run, Owen will be welcoming people to join him and raise awareness of the campaign. Some stars of the Super League will be out in full support, with Owen keeping a blog and video diary of his experiences on the road until he arrives at the State of Mind Round 27 finale at Hull Kingston Rovers v Castleford Tigers (15:00) on Day Ten – Sunday 11th September.
The Wildcats are encouraging all fans to support Owen and the ‘State of Mind’ project. You can follow Owen at @StateofMind2011 and find us on Facebook with ‘State of Mind’. You can watch the trailer for the State of Mind video here: http://youtu.be/inlsKr-3NH8
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.